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Apr 9, 2021 at 1.30am UK
BolivarBolivar
2-1
JuniorAtletico Junior
Ramos (4'), Bejarano (48')
Justiniano (12'), Ramos (78')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Mera (10')
Enrique Martinez Yepez (19'), Ditta (63')

Preview: Bolivar vs. Atletico Junior - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bolivar vs. Atletico Junior - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Copa Libertadores clash between Bolivar and Atletico Junior, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Colombian side Atletico Junior travel to the Estadio Hernando Siles, where they will face Bolivian outfit Bolivar in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday evening.

The hosts have won their last three matches in all competitions, while the visitors have won both of their previous two away games.


Match preview

Bolivar progressed from their second round qualifier after winning 5-1 on aggregate against Uruguayan side Montevideo Wanderers last month.

Despite losing the first leg 1-0 away from home, Bolivar cruised to a 5-0 victory a week later, with a brace from Leonardo Ramos securing La Academia's place in the third round.

Bolivar – Bolivia's most successful club with 29 league titles – were unable to follow up their 2019 league triumph as they finished in third place last season, just two points behind champions Club Always Ready.

This year Natxo Gonzalez's side have won two of their opening three league matches and winning their 30th league title is high on the agenda this campaign.

Bolivar are currently ranked 10th in the historical table of the Copa Libertadores, which is a cumulative record of all match results in the competition's history since its inception in 1960. However, they are one of two sides in the top 10 who have never won the competition before, despite competing in 34 different seasons.

La Academia, who were eliminated in the Copa Libertadores group stages last season, will be hoping that they can firstly progress from the third qualifying round, and then become the first Bolivian side to win the competition.

Atletico Junior also progressed from the second qualifying round after beating Venezuelan outfit Caracas 5-2 on aggregate last month.

A 2-1 away win was followed up with a 3-1 home victory, with goals from Miguel Borja, Teofilo Gutierrez and Jhon Pajoy securing their place in the next round.

Like Bolivar, Junior were also unable to defend their league title in 2019 and had to settle for a third-place finish in the Categoria Primera A aggregate table last season.

This year, Luis Amaranto Perea's side are currently fourth with three games to go before the league splits into a knockout-style tournament.

Junior have reach the Copa Libertadores group stages in each of the last three seasons and will be looking to secure a positive result on Wednesday if they are to keep this run going.

Bolivar Copa Libertadores form:
  • L
  • W

Bolivar form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Atletico Junior Copa Libertadores form:
  • W
  • W

Atletico Junior form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D


Team News

Bolivar boss Gonzalez may decide to make alterations to his starting lineup from the team that beat Blooming on Saturday.

Central midfielder Alex Granell could replace Leonel Justiniano, while striker Ramos may start at the expense of Armando Sadiku.

However, the back-four, consisting of Diego Bejarano, Jairo Quinteros, Luis Alberto Gutierrez and Roberto Fernandez, are all expected to keep their places in the first XI.

For Junior, left-back Gabriel Fuentes could return to the starting lineup and replace Edwin Velasco.

Either Edwuin Cetre or Carmelo Valencia is expected to start on the right wing, while striker Gutierrez, who has four goals this season, is set to lead the line in attack.

Bolivar possible starting lineup:
Rojas; Bejarano, Quinteros, Gutierrez, Fernandez; Saavedra, Granell, Rodriguez; Salvatierra; Ramos, Miranda

Atletico Junior possible starting lineup:
Viera; Viafara, Ditta, Mera, Fuentes; Vasquez, Moreno, Angel; Cetre, Teofilo, Hinestroza


We say: Bolivar 1-1 Atletico Junior


Both Bolivar and Atletico Junior will be keen to ensure that they keep this tie alive and avoiding defeat on Thursday would give both sides confidence heading into the second leg next week.

With little to separate the two South American teams, we can see a score draw played out in La Paz.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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